What's a little head between friends?
What They Say
Yagiri Pharmacuticals executive Yagiri Namie was upset. She was upset because she couldn't find her beloved brother, Seiji. To search for him, she contacts the Shinjuku information broker, Izaya. Unconcerned that he was being searched for, Seiji wanders the city of Ikebukuro with a girl with a scar around her neck. He smiles gently at her frightened insistence that they go somewhere "far away".
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Durarara!! has certainly been all over the place as its diverse cast has their pasts and connections explored. With the launching point of Ryuugamine coming to Ikebukuro to go to school with his friend Kida, we've learned a whole lot that involves a rather varied cast of characters with a central plot about a Dullahan, a headless woman hundreds of years old, who operates as the Black Rider in the city. These threads are coming closer together now that the one thing that the Black Rider has been looking for is practically waved right in front of the waft of smoke that is in place of her head.
With the ninth episode, we get to follow up on the tease from the previous episode involving the appearance of what looks to be Celty's head. On another body, no less. Through this part of the story, we get to know the brother/sister pair of Seiji and Namie who are part of the big Yagiri Pharmaceuticals group. It's here that we see in the past where Namie discovered the head within her father's study, a place she shouldn't have been, and then when she brought her younger brother in to see it as well so as to share the secret. Her brother takes it farther though and feels connected to the quietly dormant head but it's Namie that elevates it as she sets up a procedure to find the head a body. And that has resulted in an awakened head that has lost its memories but feels a compulsion to seek out Seiji, who has left the Yagiri family, so she can be with him. Amusingly, the two have fallen in love in some weird way which is difficult to believe since Celty's had has no real personality to it yet as there are no memories, just a blank slate that knows how to get around a bit.
What turns the episode highly amusing though is when in the now, we see Seiji and Celty's Head out together and events lead to having the Head literally run right past Celty herself who is having a lovely little conversation with Shizou. You can practically feel the shock coming from Celty when she sees this and races off to catch her though she's stymied when Ryuugamine gets mixed up in it by accident. The more amusing segment is watching Shizou and Seiji end up in a bit of a fight as Seiji doesn't realize who Shizou is and Shizou gets to be all cool and macho (and far too self aware) as he helps Celty out. It's a short fight overall but it's really fun to watch as Seiji tries to take this guy down with just a couple of pens.
There's a lot of fun to be had here in the second half while the first half helps to build up some of the back story to what's gone on with Celty's head. Not how it got where it is or the details of the body it's on now, but there are more pieces of the puzzle revealed here which helps to smooth things out a bit more. This episode again highlights Shizou as the main cool character of the series that I'd love to see headlining a show of his own. There's a good mix of story and action here as well as a hefty dose of humor that ties together a whole lot of material. I'm still not sure where all of this will go, but it's very enjoyable and fun to watch as the ride itself is great, even if it may not end well. So far I'm still holding out hope though.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.